Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Lapband surgery is an alternative to the traditional gastric bypass. It's less invasive. There are less risk of complications. There are better results to be had from it. As with any elective surgery, you should always get the most qualified doctor you can before going ahead with it.

People looking into get lap band houston procedures can find an excellent program with Dr Collier. He has 31 years of surgical experience as well as a highly praised aftercare team.

Sometimes no matter what you do, you can't lose weight. Sometimes you have to explore alternative methods- if diet and exercise just don't work, then surgery becomes one of the options.
My day so far:

6:15 get up. Get dressed. Pop frozen pancakes into the microwave to heat.
6:20 Get Tiffany up. Get her dressed. Pop her into booster seat, feed her the pancakes and some apple juice.
6:25 Pack her lunch/snack bag for school.
6:35 Comb her hair, wash face, apply sneakers, and let her get up.
6:36 while I'm cleaning her plate off the table, hear her happily slamming a door in the back of the house.
6:37 find out that she's not, in fact, in her brother's bed (score a point for good behavior!)
6:45 the bus appears. Tiff leaves for school.

7:10 Robbie is awake and sucking on his toes.
7:15 get Robbie up. Apply diaper, inhaler, and suction the mucus from his nose.
7:25 feed him a biscuit, try to feed the bottle. Compromise on two swallows of formula and a handful of Baby Crunchies.

Load and start the dishwasher.

7:45 begin his therapy. Alternate activities while scanning his extremities every few minutes for color. When his breathing starts to wheeze, step back on physical exertion and do compressions and speech. Encourage eye contact. Encourage vocalizations. Watch for color, listen for breathing. Whenever he seems likely to accept a crunchy or a swallow of formula, provide it. Even if I have to trick him into it.

Things that got done between 7:45 and 10:15:
Dishwasher ran.
Mixed up a bowl of gluten-free pancake batter. Added a cup of butterscotch morsels, and fried up about 6 pancakes before being swatted firmly on the ankles by a small unhappy child who wanted more crunchies. Poured the rest of the batter into a greased loaf pan and baked in oven (turned out very good, incidentally).
Changed sheets on Tiff's bed and cleaned the room up. Stuffed animals back in place, bed made, the remnants of three books collected and removed. She likes to shred; we try to discourage this and don't let her have books in her room during times when she's most likely to shred them, but sometimes it happens.
Washed kitchen floor.
Rescheduled my cardiology appt to next week, and said a prayer that I don't have to re-re-schedule it. They want an echocardiogram, I think, and I've got two little kids that I'll have to schlep with to that. It happens. Hopefully we'll get it done in record time, with good behavior, since the appt is first thing.
Robbie ate about 5oz and 1/4 cup baby crunchies.

In fifteen minutes Tiff comes home. I need to have her lunch on the table by then, and I have to have dishes put away, and dinner starting to defrost, and I need to call the yard service people to come mow the lawn. I need to run two loads of laundry tonight. Change Robbie's sheets and bedding. Do another round of therapy for him, and a round with her. I should take them both outside for fresh air. I should vacuum. I should...

but we're already running out of time. By the time I convince her to eat some lunch and him to both eat and do his therapy, we're looking at afternoon naps. I can get some housework done then, or I can lay down for a bit. Lately I've been plowing through the work. Today I'm exhausted and need to lay down a bit. If the kids are quiet enough, I might even get to sleep a little.

We're getting everything ready, bit by bit, to move again. I don't want to move. I don't want to go to a new area with new doctors where I'm going to be judged all over again by everyone I come into contact with. These are good kids. They are the light of my life. I'm a good mother to them. So why do I still get judged as unworthy of them because of their developmental delays and weight?
The following is a comment left on this post over at the McCarthy Micro Preemie Blog. I'm fairly certain that anyone familiar with this blog will understand why I'm re-posting it.

....commented by 23wktwinsmommy...
I'm posting again because I can't sleep...this has been bothering me since I read some of these comments last night. I have tossed and turned thinking about how unfair commenters have ben to Liz. How people can't understand that a label will help our children.
A label could help ensure our children received Medicare to cover the costs of therapies, medication, Dr's appointments, equipment, etc. It could help teachers understand that behavioral and learning difficulties so common with our micro preemies have a CAUSE and weren't caused by poor parenting. It could help well-meaning family members and friends that kindly place blame on us that it's a syndrome, not a result of what we are or aren't doing. It could mean so much to have our concerns acknowledged by the medical community and society at large. There is NO shame in having a diagnosis for our children. It doesn't mean we love them less because we seek to expand the understanding of others.
And I also want it to be ok for parents to scream PREMATURITY SUCKS!!! That it has robbed our children, and us, of a whole hell of a lot. We should be able to vent and say these things without having to follow up by saying we are thankful for our children, we know it could be worse, we love them regardless. This is all true and we have said it before. I find myself adding this disclaimer so that my family/friends without micro preemies know that I'm ok, that the burden isn't too great when I open up about my fears and concerns about the kid's health and development. It should be clear we love our children, and it's ok to be worried, upset, and frustrated. In fact, it's normal. We love our children, value them for who they are, and all of that, but do we need to type it every time we explain a challenge? Or is it obvious from reading and clear simply by the fact that we are researching, connecting, and advocating for our micro preemies?
Some people choose to include biblical quotes and thank God in every post, that's fine, I enjoy reading many blogs like that. But everyone writes differently, and expresses themselves differently...and that's ok. That's part of what makes us human.
You can hate the fact that your child struggles to breathe when sick, or struggles with eating, or with social skills, or with talking, walking, understanding, etc..I hate it. I hate it for my kids and all our preemies friends. I wish all were healthy...but wishing will not change the reality. Sitting back and being thankful is part of our journey, but getting up and fighting is part of it too. We live in a world that isn't always accepting; we see prejudice, racism, and hate too often. It should be normal to worry about how our children will be treated, and it's not enough that our family and friends love and accept them. Society should, teachers should, their peers should. And we owe it to our kids to do what we can to help people understand. Because through understanding comes acceptance, and that's what Liz and so many of us want for our children.
I hope Liz continues to honestly express herself and turn to those who understand. I hope readers recognize who Liz is, a caring parent hungry to make the world better for her daughter..I'm fighting right along side you Liz.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Ring around the rosy
A pocket full of posies
Ashes, Ashes
We all fall down.

Do you remember learning the meaning behind that nursery rhyme? As children we danced around in a circle, falling down, laughing with our friends because it was so silly. When we learned about the Plague, about the Black Death that hunted through Europe and Asia and Africa back in the old days, we wondered why on earth our mothers would have taught that to us. A rhyming game about death? It made us laugh and adults looked on and laughed with us while the dark hints of a dark time went unnoticed.

Pandemics like this strike a chord in me. Don't know why, don't really care. The Black Death, while an interesting topic, is nothing to me personally in comparison to the Spanish Flu. Now that's something to keep my attention. I've not heard any rhymes about the pandemic. Most areas don't even remember it; you'll find mention of it in history books sometimes, but the history books like to focus on the tail end of WW1 which was enough for most people to focus their energies on. The flu? That's not history. We get the flu all the time. Sometimes people die from it. Why make an effort to remember a particularly bad season of flu?

Oral traditions pass it down. Something that effects our psyches more than our rational thought processes. One generation to the next. Stories overlap. A grandmother was raised by her aunt and uncle because her own parents died. Families broken up and scattered because someone died... normal enough for the time.

Ring around the rosy, a pocket full of posies

In plague times there was no real cure. Sometimes, something would seem to work and the people latched on to any hope they had. Hope is necessary for survival. Stuff sweet smelling flowers and spices in their pockets, in their children's pockets, and pray that it keeps away the devil-sickness.

In pandemic times, we looked for the same thing. Results. Looking for results, for help, for hope. Wear a mask to keep the germs from spreading. Dose the patient with any miracle drug that may help. Pray, although the churches are closed. Yes, in places the churches were really closed- everything was closed. Towns ran out of coffins. They ran out of hope.

When the mind can't cope with something it starts to shut down and off. The horrid is bearable if you don't think about it. We will survive. We will endure. We'll pick up whatever pieces are left and never speak of it again.

I still don't know what fascinates me more, knowing that a single time frame could produce a varient of the flu that seemed customized for death, or knowing that a good deal of the survivors seemed to have made a pact never to speak of it again. Wipe it away, if you never discuss it you can pretend it never happened.

In a hundred years or so will this make it's way into a nursery rhyme? Will children laugh and play to commerate a terrible illness? When I was in school and learned what that rhyme really meant, several of my classmates were swearing they'd never teach their kids that sort of thing. And I didn't know what I felt about it.

I ended up teaching it to both kids. We do the whole game. They don't know what it means and I certainly am not teaching them that it has any meaning besides the laughter. They don't need to know yet. What I'm going to tell them when they ask me, sometime in the distant future, is that I taught them this rhyme because it's an example of oral tradition. It reminds us that we are mortal. That we break down traumatic events into a form we can deal with, that fears can transmute into a positive thing if only we have enough time.

We are only human. We have to remember the past to cope with the future. Remembering that we survived one thing will help give us hope that we will survive whatever comes next.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

This weekend has been pretty much like the past couple of weeks: lost. Utterly and totally lost. I've spent the daylight hours with the kids, trying to keep them content and cared for, and the evening hours staring at the computer in between ten-minute shots of housework. I've binged on potato chips. I've not checked my blood sugars. I've been feeling like rubber, but whether or not that's related to the ongoing insomnia or the diabetes or even the kids' crankiness is up for debate.

One thing I accomplished yesterday was grocery shopping. I got a chicken, and a family pack of steaks that were marked down, and cooked them both up last night. This is supposed to cut down on cooking work next week- cooked and frozen meat in portion controlled packs are so nice to have. I got three steak packs, and four chicken packs out of it- tried out a slow-cooker liner for the chicken. Turned out very nice. I still had to run the crockpot insert through the dishwasher, but it was a world easier to cleanup.

Vegetable Chicken. It turned out very well. Easy, too, which helps. I laid the chicken on the bottom of the pot. Then a handful of frozen minced onion, about a cup of frozen diced potato, a pack of baby carrots, and 2 ribs of chopped celery. The carrots and celery were recognizable, and the potato and onion cooked down into something like mashed potato. It combined with the chicken stock to then turn into a thick broth. Potato-enhanced. I saved out that broth with some of the chicken and tomorrow I'm heating it in a saucepan with a packet of gravy and a cup of water. Cook till done. Serve with a spinach salad? Nice.

Monday, January 05, 2009

It's been longer than usual, I guess, since I've last updated. Marked by such moments as:
Tiff: Apples!
Daddy: There are no apples.
Tiff: Apples! (leading Daddy by the hand to the fridge)
Daddy: We can look, but I promise you there are no apples.
Tiff: (poking head in fridge) Apples?
Daddy: There are no apples. And you can throw yourself on the floor and cry if you like, but that will not make apples appear.
Tiff: But I'm a good girl!

Robbie pulling to stand and falling on his bottom. Reaches up hands and declares: Mama!
Mama appears and grabs his hands, he pulls up. "Mama!" Chortling with joy.

Also marked by such moments as:

Tiffany! Robbie! Stop that at once!

Of course they ignore me. They're kids. I'm just the mother. What do I know? I'm here solely to provide snacks and ruin their fun. I've also been working on my writing, signed up at and am working on some xmen related fics- an age ago when I was in high school and college I was into it and wrote some back then, it was a great writing exercise that helped polish plot and character ideas for my own stuff and I'm hoping it can be that again.

Unfortunately it brought to my attention how much time has passed since high school and the last time I followed that comic. I graduated in 1995. Do you know that was more than 10 years ago? Geez. I'm certainly not any older. Comics are like soaps- a year is about three cast changes and character deaths that turn out only to be mostly dead. Dead isn't dead when you're talking fiction.

There are also two commissions on my needles at the moment. So I'm flitting between one thing and another and this has suffered. I'll try to do better.